"Let's make it easy."
That's what Dana Mason said as he pulled a knife on a woman in May of 2013.
The victim had just gotten onto an elevator, bags of groceries in her hand, when Mason stepped on the elevator behind her. After requesting a 3rd floor stop, he pulled out a knife. The victim dropped her groceries and threw her tan purse at Mason.
She and Mason then fled.
A police officer viewed the surveillance video from the incident and recognized Mason as a man he had just seen walking into nearby apartment buildings. A desk clerk confirmed that Mason had entered the building earlier with a tan purse and told officers Mason was inside his apartment.
Officers found the victim's belongings, minus the purse, and clothing matching the suspect's description on the floor.
Mason was arrested, telling police: "You got me; I know I'm going to jail."
He admitted throwing the purse in a trash can where it was eventually recovered by an officer.
A prior and persistent offender, Mason has convictions from New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Ohio and now Missouri. The convictions include robbery, theft and voluntary manslaughter.
"He has consistently, throughout his life, stolen from other people, and sometimes done so, like here, in a violent manner," Assistant Circuit Attorney Jeff Ernst said in court documents. "Despite spending years in prison for crimes ranging from burglary to voluntary manslaughter, this defendant has never altered his behavior and therefore he continues to be a danger to the community."
Mason pleaded guilty to his crimes in July. ACA Ernst recommended that he serve life (30 years) in prison. A judge sentenced Mason to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.